Developing a Comprehensive Testing Strategy for Banking Apps: Tips and Best Practices

Sasha B. by Sasha B. on 05/14/2024

Developing a Comprehensive Testing Strategy for Banking Apps: Tips and Best Practices

In April 2018, TSB Bank, a UK-based retail and commercial bank, faced a major IT failure that affected approximately 1.9 million customers. The issue occurred during a migration of customer data to a new banking platform, leaving customers without access to online banking services for several days. The incident resulted in a loss of over £330 million ($430 million) for the bank, including compensation payouts, fraud losses, and other operational costs. 

The increasing prevalence of fintech solutions has demonstrated the critical importance of robust and thorough testing for banking apps. Unlike simpler applications, such as calorie-counting tools or basic to-do lists, banking apps handle sensitive financial data and transactions that demand the highest levels of security, reliability, and user experience. In light of these complexities, it’s crucial for development and QA teams to approach the testing process with great diligence and attention to detail.

In this article, we will share our over 22 years experience and up-to-date insights on testing banking apps. We will discuss the challenges faced during the process, the best practices to overcome them, and the strategies to ensure that your banking app not only functions flawlessly but also instills trust in your customers. Here is a brief outline to follow:

  • Critical Areas to Address When Testing Banking Apps
  • Test Scenarios for Banking Apps: By Type and Focus Area
  • Creating a Comprehensive Testing Strategy: Best Practices 
  • Assembling Top Testing Team: In-house, Flex, Outsourcing
  • Testing Tools: Manual, Automated, AI-powered QA
  • Common Problems with Testing Banking Apps Organization

By learning from our expertise, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the intricate world of banking app testing and deliver a product that meets the highest standards in the competitive fintech landscape.

Critical Areas to Address When Testing Banking Apps

When it comes to developing a comprehensive testing strategy for banking apps, one of the most important steps is identifying the critical areas that require testing. 

Performance 

Users expect these apps to be fast, reliable, and responsive, and any issues with performance can quickly erode trust and lead to user churn. In fact, a report by Dimensional Research found that 90% of users will stop using a mobile app due to poor performance.

QA teams must conduct thorough performance testing to identify and remediate any issues with app speed, responsiveness, and stability. This can include load testing, stress testing, and other techniques to simulate different usage scenarios and ensure that the app performs well under all conditions.

User experience (UX)

Users want banking apps to be intuitive, easy to use, and visually appealing, and any issues with UX can quickly lead to user frustration and churn. In fact, a report by UserZoom found that 67% of users will abandon a mobile app due to poor UX. By prioritizing UX testing, banking apps can improve user satisfaction and engagement, and ultimately drive business growth. 

Mobile UX/UI optimization is not the only focus you should keep in mind in this era of total globalization. Here is a case, to prove it.

“Our team was previously given the responsibility of collaboratively creating and delivering thorough QA for a finance application compliant with Sharia law. This required us to consider religious principles during the development and QA process, which was a novel challenge for our team. Nevertheless, by embracing a receptive attitude and soliciting guidance from well-informed stakeholders and specialists, we managed to introduce an inclusive application that catered to those who abide by Sharia law in their everyday life.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability. Ensuring accessibility through testing can help banks cater to this significant user base and avoid potential lawsuits or fines under accessibility laws.

Here, you can check on the tips and tricks on The Role of Testing in Improving Financial Inclusion shared by our Delivery Director Bruce Mason. 

Regulatory compliance 

Banks are subject to a wide range of regulations and compliance requirements, and any violations can result in hefty fines and damage to the bank’s reputation. For example, in 2020, the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency fined Capital One $80 million for a data breach that compromised the personal information of over 100 million customers. To avoid similar situations, QA teams must ensure that banking apps are compliant with all relevant regulations and standards, such as GDPR, PCI-DSS, and SOX. 

Security

Banking apps are a prime target for hackers and cybercriminals, who are always looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities and steal sensitive information. In fact, a recent study by Positive Technologies found that almost all (98%) of banking apps contain at least one security flaw, and 13% of apps contained high-risk vulnerabilities.

To mitigate these risks, QA teams must conduct extensive security testing that may include penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, and code review, among other techniques.

Test Scenarios for Banking Apps By Type and Focus Area

Test Scenarios for Banking Apps By Type and Focus Area

When it comes to developing effective test scenarios for banking apps, there are several types of strategies to consider. These scenarios are designed to test different aspects of the app and uncover any potential issues or bugs. 

Banking Apps Test Scenarios by Type

Positive testing scenarios

Perhaps the most straightforward type of scenario — help to ensure that the app is working as expected under normal usage conditions.

  • Logging in successfully with valid credentials;
  • Making a transaction without any errors;
  • Checking the account balance and receiving accurate information.

Negative testing scenarios

Test the app’s ability to handle unexpected or invalid inputs. Can help uncover potential vulnerabilities or error-handling issues in the app.

  • Attempting to log in with incorrect credentials;
  • Making a transaction with an invalid account number;
  • Entering an incorrect PIN code.

Boundary testing scenarios

Test the edges or limits of the app’s functionality.

  • Attempting to transfer an amount of money that exceeds the user’s account balance;
  • Entering a password that is too long;
  • Trying to input a negative number for a transaction amount.

Exploratory testing scenarios

Less structured and more open-ended than other types of scenarios. They involve exploring the app in a less directed way to uncover potential issues or bugs.

  • Trying different combinations of user inputs to see how the app responds;
  • Accessing different parts of the app in unexpected ways;
  • Checking if the app works correctly on different devices or operating systems.

By using a combination of positive, negative, boundary, and exploratory scenarios, QA teams can better identify and remediate any issues or vulnerabilities in banking apps. It’s important to keep in mind that these scenarios are not mutually exclusive and can overlap.

“In fintech QA, users reign supreme. Assess, refine, and excel – our 2023 approach to ensuring secure, compliant, and user-focused testing for top-notch financial apps. ”

Michael Tomara, QA Team Lead

Banking Apps Test Scenarios by Focus Area

A comprehensive testing strategy should incorporate a variety of scenarios to ensure that all aspects of the app are thoroughly tested. When developing test scenarios for banking app testing, it’s important to focus on critical areas such as security, performance, regulatory compliance, and UX. Here are some examples of test scenarios for each area:

UX testing scenarios

  • Usability: users can navigate the app easily and perform tasks without confusion;
  • Accessibility: the app is accessible for users with different abilities, such as those who are visually impaired;
  • Design consistency: the app’s design is consistent across all screens and follows established design patterns and guidelines;
  • Mobile responsiveness: the app is usable and visually appealing on different mobile devices and screen sizes;
  • Content readability and clarity: text and other content is easy to read and understand, especially on smaller screens;
  • Usability across different languages and cultures: the app works well and is understandable for users with different language backgrounds and cultural contexts.

Performance testing scenarios

  • Stress readiness: simulating high volumes of user traffic to test its response times and load handling capabilities;
  • Network connectivity: simulating different network conditions such as low bandwidth or high latency;
  • Scalability: increasing the number of users or transactions to test the app’s ability to handle growth;
  • Response times during high-traffic periods: the app can handle sudden spikes in user activity;
  • Resource usage (CPU, memory, and battery): the app does not consume excessive resources that can negatively impact device performance or battery life;
  • Network performance in different geographic regions: the app performs well under varying network conditions and latency levels.

Security testing scenarios

  • Attempting to log in with incorrect credentials to test authentication and authorization;
  • Testing for vulnerabilities such as SQL injection or cross-site scripting attacks;
  • Testing for data privacy and security by verifying that sensitive data is encrypted and stored securely.

Regulatory compliance testing scenarios

  • Verifying that the app complies with relevant regulations such as GDPR, PCI-DSS, and SOX;
  • Testing for data retention policies by checking that user data is stored and deleted correctly;
  • Testing for auditability by verifying that all actions performed by the app are logged and traceable.

“In 2023, our QA strategy for fintech apps revolves around continuous adaptation and rigorous testing methods to ensure seamless user experiences, regulatory compliance, and unyielding protection against emerging threats in an ever-evolving digital landscape.”

Maxim Khimiy, Automation QA Lead, TestFort

Creating a Comprehensive Testing Strategy: Best Practices 

In today’s competitive financial landscape, ensuring the reliability, security, and usability of banking apps is crucial for retaining customer trust and delivering a seamless user experience. To achieve this, it’s essential to develop a comprehensive testing strategy that encompasses all aspects of the app and the QA flow itself.

In over 22 years in a QA and testing market, we have highlighted some steps (the sequence is optional) that lead to creating and implementing of an efficient testing strategy, no matter the project complexity.

Step #1. Start with the most critical scenarios. Begin by identifying the most critical scenarios to test, such as those related to security, performance, regulatory compliance, and UX. This will ensure that the highest-risk areas are thoroughly tested and that any issues are identified and remediated as early as possible in the development cycle.

Step #2. Prioritize high-impact areas. Once the most critical scenarios have been identified, prioritize the scenarios that have the highest potential impact on the app and its users. For example, scenarios related to data privacy or transaction security should be given a high priority, as any issues in these areas can have severe consequences for the app and its users.

Step #3. Involve real users in scenario creation and validation. Testing scenarios should be created with the end-user in mind. By involving real users in scenario creation functionality and are relevant to user needs and expectations. This can involve gathering feedback from beta testers, conducting surveys or user interviews, or analyzing user behavior data.

Step #4. Use a combination of manual, automated and AI-powered testing. Manual testing can be particularly effective for scenarios related to UX or exploratory testing, while automated testing can be more effective for repetitive tasks or load testing. A combination of various testing methods ensures that all scenarios are thoroughly tested and most of the edge cases covered.  

Step #5. Perform continuous testing and integration. Implement a continuous testing approach by integrating testing into the development process, ensuring that new features and changes are tested as they are developed. This helps to identify and address issues early, reducing the risk of defects making it into production.

Step #6. Foster collaboration between QA and development teams. Encourage open communication and collaboration between QA and development teams to create a shared understanding of requirements and ensure that testing scenarios align with the app’s objectives. This can be achieved by using tools like JIRA for issue tracking and project management, and holding regular stand-up meetings to discuss progress and challenges.

Step #7. Leverage test management tools. Utilize test management tools like TestRail to efficiently manage test cases, track results, and generate reports. These tools can help streamline the testing process, making it easier for teams to stay organized, prioritize tasks, and monitor progress.

Step #8. Adopt a risk-based testing approach. Focus on testing scenarios that pose the highest risk to the app and its users. By allocating resources and time based on the potential impact of each scenario, you can ensure that the most critical areas are thoroughly tested while optimizing the overall testing effort.

Step #9. Regularly review and update testing scenarios. As the app evolves and user requirements change, it’s essential to review and update testing scenarios to ensure they remain relevant and effective. Conduct regular reviews of existing scenarios and make necessary updates to reflect changes in the app’s functionality, user expectations, or regulatory requirements.

Step #10. Monitor and learn from production data. Analyze production data, such as crash reports, user feedback, and app usage metrics, to identify trends and potential areas for improvement. By learning from real-world data, QA teams can refine their testing scenarios and strategies, ensuring that they continue to address the most critical aspects of the app’s performance and user experience.

Now let’s discuss who will put these best practices for banking app testing into action and which tools they can use to do so.

Assembling Top Testing Team: In-house, Flex, Outsourcing

Assembling the best team for banking app testing is crucial for ensuring the quality, security, and user experience of your app. There are several ways to approach building your testing team, and the most suitable option will depend on your organization’s needs, resources, and expertise. Here’s a breakdown of three possible approaches:

testing banking apps

In-house team

An in-house testing team consists of QA, PM, product owners and developers who are part of your organization. This approach allows for greater control over the testing process, as well as easier communication and collaboration among team members.

Pros

  • Enhanced control and oversight of the testing process;
  • Seamless communication and collaboration within the team;
  • Better understanding of the company culture and objectives.

Cons

  • May require significant investment in hiring, training, and retaining skilled testers;
  • Limited access to external expertise and specialized skills;
  • Can be resource-intensive in terms of time and costs.

In-house team + dedicated QA experts 

This hybrid approach involves combining your in-house testing team with a dedicated expert from an outsourcing company. For example, you have a Senior SME on your team and Middle experts from a domain-specific outsourcing company. This expert can bring specialized knowledge and experience in banking app testing, helping to enhance the capabilities of your in-house team.

Pros

  • Access to specialized skills and domain expertise;
  • Flexibility to scale the team as needed;
  • In-house team retains control and oversight of the testing process.

Cons

  • May still require investment in hiring and training in-house testers;
  • It takes time for the outsourced team to both absorb the essence of the project and get into a particular workflow rhythm. 

Outsourcing 

Outsourcing the entire testing process involves hiring an external company that specializes in banking app testing. This approach allows you to leverage the expertise and resources of a dedicated testing team without the need to invest in building your own in-house team.

Pros

  • Access to a wide range of specialized skills and domain expertise;
  • Cost-effective, as you only pay for the services you need;
  • Allows your organization to focus on core business activities while the outsourced team handles testing.

Cons

  • Less control over the testing process;
  • Potential challenges related to organizing work in different time zones;
  • May require careful management to ensure alignment with company objectives and culture.

Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each option to determine the most suitable solution for your situation.

Testing Tools: Manual, Automated, AI-powered QA

Let’s explore the different types of testing tools available, including manual, automated, and AI-powered QA. We hope this comprehensive overview offered by our QA experts will help you, make an informed decision when selecting a testing tool combination for your next project:

Manual Testing Tools

TestRail

A comprehensive test management tool that helps manage test cases, plan test runs, and track test results. Its powerful reporting and analytics features provide insights into the testing process, enabling teams to identify trends, track progress, and make data-driven decisions to improve the quality of their banking apps.

JIRA

A versatile project management tool that can also be used for manual testing management and issue tracking. It allows for the creation of custom workflows, easy collaboration among team members, and integration with various banking app testing tools, making it an essential tool for managing and tracking the entire testing process.

Postman

A widely-used API testing tool that simplifies the process of testing API endpoints. With its intuitive interface and rich feature set, Postman enables users to create, run, and analyze API tests, helping ensure the reliability and performance of banking app APIs.

BrowserStack

A cloud-based cross-browser testing tool that allows teams to test their app across a wide range of browsers, devices, and operating systems. By providing access to real devices and eliminating the need for maintaining a dedicated device lab, BrowserStack helps teams save time, resources, and ensure their banking apps are compatible across multiple platforms.

Automated Testing Tools

Selenium

Allows for the creation and execution of web application tests across different browsers and platforms. Its compatibility with multiple programming languages and integration with various testing frameworks make it a popular choice for web testing.

Appium

An open-source mobile app testing tool that supports both Android and iOS platforms. It enables cross-platform testing with a single API, making it easier to maintain test scripts for both platforms, ultimately reducing the time and effort required for mobile app testing

JMeter

Helps to perform testing and measuring the performance of web applications. It can simulate multiple users and concurrent requests to evaluate the app’s responsiveness and stability under varying workloads, helping identify potential performance bottlenecks.

Katalon Studio

Offers a comprehensive solution for automated testing of web, mobile, and desktop apps, with a user-friendly interface and support for multiple scripting languages. It integrates with popular tools like Selenium and Appium, making it a versatile option for end-to-end testing.

TestComplete

Supports testing for desktop, web, and mobile apps. Its visual scriptless test creation feature, along with support for multiple scripting languages, makes it easy to create and maintain complex test scenarios, reducing the learning curve for testers.

Telerik Test Studio

Offers codeless test creation, cross-browser compatibility testing, and seamless integration with popular continuous integration tools, making it a powerful choice for enhancing testing efficiency and collaboration.

Ranorex Studio

Supports testing for desktop, web, and mobile apps. It offers a user-friendly interface, scriptless test creation, and reusable test modules, which helps reduce test maintenance efforts and streamline the testing process across different platforms.

AI-Powered Testing Tools

These tools use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to identify potential issues and automate testing tasks. 

Test.ai

Employs computer vision and machine learning to automatically create and execute tests. By intelligently analyzing the app’s UI elements and user flows, Test.ai generates comprehensive test cases and adapts to changes in the app, reducing the manual effort required for test creation and maintenance. This results in faster, more efficient testing and improved overall app quality.

Functionize

Utilizes natural language processing and machine learning to create and execute tests. This enables testers to write test cases in plain English, making it easier to create and maintain tests, while the AI algorithms optimize test execution for improved efficiency and accuracy.

Testim

Eemploys machine learning to automatically create and maintain tests. By learning from each test execution, Testim adapts and refines the tests, making them more resilient to changes in the app and reducing the maintenance effort required for test scripts.

Applitools

Detects visual changes in the app and automatically updates tests accordingly. By comparing app screenshots across different versions, Applitools helps ensure visual consistency and catches unintended visual changes, improving the overall user experience.

Appvance IQ

Leverages machine learning to identify potential issues and create tests automatically. This intelligent test generation helps save time, improve test coverage, and ensure that the most critical issues are addressed, ultimately enhancing the quality of the banking app.

mabl

Utilizes machine learning to detect visual changes and automatically update tests. With its intelligent visual validation and adaptive test maintenance capabilities, mabl helps reduce the manual effort required for test maintenance while ensuring visual consistency across different app versions.

Overall, testing tools improve testing efficiency and accuracy, and incorporating a combination of manual, automated and AI-powered testing tools ensures comprehensive testing of banking apps.

Banking Apps

Common Problems with Testing Banking Apps Organization

While the best practices we’ve discussed can help you create a successful testing strategy for banking apps, it’s important to be prepared for common challenges that can arise during the development process. By anticipating and troubleshooting these issues, you can ensure that your testing strategy actually works.

Problem #1. Lack of Knowledge 

Solutions

  • Provide clear and detailed instructions to testers before they begin testing the app. Make sure they understand the features and functions of the app, so they can accurately test it; 
  • Outsource testing and QA to the companies that have experience in fintech domain. Though testing processes are less domain-specific than software development, it is good to have experts who know some field-related tricks;
  • If necessary, educate QA team on the basics of the banking system, so they have a better understanding of how the app should work. 

Problem #2. Security Issues 

Solutions

  • Implement strict security protocols when testing the app, such as two-factor authentication and encryption; 
  • Utilize third-party software to monitor any suspicious activity while the app is being tested; 
  • Have a dedicated security team to review the app and address any potential security risks. 

Problem #3. Time Constraints 

Solutions

  • Prioritize tasks and set deadlines to make sure the testing is completed in a timely manner; 
  • Utilize automated and AI-powered testing tools to speed up the process; 
  • Have a dedicated team to help manage the testing process and ensure that it is completed on time. 

Problem #4. Unforeseen Issues 

Solutions

  • Rely on experienced QA and testing specialists when creating and putting to life testing strategy for banking apps. If you can’t or don’t want to outsource, consider strengthening your group with external experts with relevant experience;
  • Never neglect exploratory testing and avoid relying solely on automation; 
  • Implement a comprehensive bug-tracking system to quickly identify and fix any issues that arise. 

In conclusion, testing banking apps requires a meticulous and well-thought-out approach to ensure their reliability, security, and usability. By following the best practices outlined in this article and being aware of common challenges, you can create a comprehensive testing strategy that covers all critical aspects of the app. It’s essential to invest in educating your QA team, prioritize tasks, leverage automated testing tools, and stay vigilant for any unforeseen issues that may arise during the testing process.

Remember that a successful banking app testing strategy is not just about identifying and fixing bugs; it’s about delivering an outstanding user experience and fostering trust among your customers. By being proactive and tackling potential problems head-on, you’ll be well on your way to building a high-quality, secure, and user-friendly banking app that stands out in the competitive financial landscape.

Hire a team

Let us assemble a dream team of QA specialists just for you. Our model allows you to maximize the efficiency of your team.

Request Specialists
Written by
Sasha B., Senior Copywriter at TestFort

A commercial writer with 13+ years of experience. Focuses on content for IT, IoT, robotics, AI and neuroscience-related companies. Open for various tech-savvy writing challenges. Speaks four languages, joins running races, plays tennis, reads sci-fi novels.

We Work With

Having one outside team deal with every aspect of quality assurance on your software project saves you time and money on creating an in-house QA department. We have dedicated testing engineers with years of experience, and here is what they can help you with.

Software is everywhere around us, and it’s essential for your testing team to be familiar with all the various types and platforms software can come with. In 21+ years, our QA team has tested every type of software there is, and here are some of their specialties.

There are dozens of different types of testing, but it takes a team of experts to know which ones are relevant to your software project and how to include them in the testing strategy the right way. These are just some of the testing types our QA engineers excel in.

The success of a software project depends, among other things, on whether it’s the right fit for the industry it’s in. And that is true not just for the development stage, but also for QA. Different industry have different software requirements, and our team knows all about them.

Icon Manual Testing

Maximum precision and attention to detail for a spotless result.

Icon Testing Automation

We’ll automate thousands of tests for all-encompassing coverage.

Icon Testing Outsourcing

Outsource your testing needs to a team of experts with relevant skills.

Icon Testing Consulting

Overhaul your QA processes to achieve even more testing efficiency.

Icon QA

Thorough Quality Assurance for a project of any scale or complexity.

Icon API Testing

Verify the correct operation of as many APIs as your project needs.

Icon IoT Testing

Stay ahead of the growing Internet of Things market with timely testing.

Icon Web Testing

Reach out to even more customers with a high-quality web application.

Icon Mobile App Testing

Help users fall in love with your mobile app with our texting expertise.

Icon CRM/ERP

Make sure your CRM/ERP system meets the needs of the stakeholders.

Icon Desktop Application Testing

We’ll check the stability, compatibility, and more of your desktop solution.

Icon Functional Testing

Is your app doing everything it’s supposed to? We’ll help you find out!

Icon Compatibility

Check how your solution works on different devices, platforms, and more.

Icon Usability

Find out if your software solution provides an engaging user experience.

Icon UI

Make sure your application’s UI logic works for all categories of users.

Icon Regression

We’ll verify the integrity of your application after recent code changes.

Icon Online Streaming & Entertainment

Stay on top of the media industry with a technically flawless solution.

Icon eCommerce & Retail

Does your store meet customer needs? We’ll help you know for sure!

Icon HR & Recruiting

Streamline HR processes with a solution that works like a clock

Icon Healthcare

Test the functionality, stability, scalability of your app and more.

Icon Fintech & Banking

Give your users what they want: a powerful, secure fintech product.


We use cookies to ensure your best experience. By continuing to browse this site, you accept the use of cookies and "third-party" cookies. For more information or to refuse consent to some cookies, please see our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy